Unveiling Ceremony for Medal of Honor headstone
January 24, 2011
CASSELBERRY, Fla. - This morning at the All Faiths Memorial Cemetery in Casselberry, Fla., approximately 200 people gathered at the grave of 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Robert Miller to witness the unveiling of his Medal of Honor marker in a ceremony hosted by the United States Army Special Operations Command and the Miller family.
Attendees to the event consisted of members from the Special Operations Command, Florida Governor Rick Scott, local and regional government officials, junior ROTC cadets, family, friends, and military veterans. Both the commanding general of USASOC, Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr. and the Special Operations Commander, Adm. Eric Olson spoke at the event.
"Robby was tough, skilled, smart and proving in many battles. He knew what he was doing and what mattered. Those who spent time with him understood that they were in the presence of a gifted and giving man to whom they could trust their very lives," said Adm. Eric T. Olson, Special Operations Commander.
In 2003, Miller enlisted in the Army as an 18 X-ray, Special Forces candidate. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course on Sept. 26, 2004 and was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Miller was awarded the Medal of Honor on Oct. 6, 2010 posthumously for heroism and valor in combat while serving in Afghanistan in January 25, 2008. The event marks the three year anniversary of his death.
"We thank all those present today, his family and friends, and especially his teammates and the Special Forces command-he was so proud to be in your ranks," said Maureen Miller, Staff Sgt. Miller's mother. "This marker that we place on his tomb today is another reminder of our son's heroism, but it is also a testament of solidarity with other parents who have dealt with loss. It is an honor to share this moment with all of you who knew and loved Rob so dearly."
Miller was recognized for his valorous actions in the Gowerdesh Valley, while serving as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant for his team. His patrol came under attack from insurgents. He deliberately moved forward exposing his position repeatedly, drawing fire from more than 100 enemy fighters, ultimately saving the lives of his fellow Green Berets and 15 local Afghanistan National Army soldiers.
Members of Miller's former Operational Detachment-Alpha also attended the ceremony to pay their respects to the family and remember their fallen brother who risked his life for them.
"It's men like Robby who make the U.S. military special. I'm able to talk to you guys because of Robby Miller. That's what makes this country so great are men like Robby who are willing to die for their friends," said Maj. Robert Cusick, former team leader for Operational Detachment Alpha 3312.
Miller was the seventh service member and first Special Forces soldier to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.